Interim visas are granted to people in New Zealand whose application for a further temporary visa hasn’t been determined when their previous visa expires. The interim visa is intended to maintain an applicant's lawful status in New Zealand while their further temporary visa application is being considered. 

An interim visa is currently valid until either the holder’s temporary visa application is decided, or six months after the interim visa was granted (whichever comes first). If the temporary visa application is declined or withdrawn within the six months, then the interim visa expires and the person immediately becomes unlawful. 

However, from 27 August, interim visas will be valid for 21 days after the further temporary visa application has been declined or withdrawn. 

Extending the length of an interim visa provides a reasonable period for people to leave New Zealand lawfully after being declined, or withdrawing an application for a temporary visa. This extension will also allow unsuccessful applicants an opportunity to request the decision be reconsidered. Interim visas will continue to expire six months after they start, if no decision has been made on the temporary visa application in this time. 

More detailed information about interim visas will be published in the INZ Operational Manual, and on the INZ website. 

This change has been made in response to feedback and submissions from immigration advisers, and we are grateful for your engagement on this issue.